Monday, 5 March 2007

Work Work Work!

After 12 months or more of preparation, the big day came when we would finally go to work. Well, I suppose, that's what we are here for but it was still a shock and very exciting at the same time.

We decided to take a taxi, Mary Stephen and Meg ($260 - 70p) for the first day but after that it would be walking or bicycles. We were there in 5 minutes and quite early so we sat in reception. We were met by our line manager, who showed us to our office. After a while we were given folders with the plan for our induction which lasts about five weeks. An hour later we were given a tour of the place. We work in NCERD - National Centre for Educational Research Development. It deals for all INSET, Curriculum and Assessment needs for the whole of Guyana. Mary will be working with others on Literacy and Stephen will be reviewing and updating the National Management Certificate - the Guyanese equivalent of NPQH. It's a bit like the Guyanese QCA.

The building is about the size of a small secondary school but has many departments - more about that later. We are working in the Curriculum Department where all the curriculum is designed, mainly numeracy and literacy. Maths is taught to the whole country at the same time via radio and they have their own studios there. It is quite a job to get the radio programmes out on time and produce and distribute all of the supporting materials for teachers.

Our second day, we were given the day off because we were moving into our houses, although a little late. It was very helpful and allowed us to get straight. On the third day, we met with the Director who gave us an overview of NCERD and the Ministry of Education and the educational system in general. He told us where we would fit in.

For the rest of the day we were left to our own devices and so read up on various documents. We finish at 3-30 on Fridays to allow us to do some shopping. Our normal working hours are 8.00am until 4.30pm with an hour for lunch. There is a snack bar on site. We have 6 weeks paid holiday and there are 15 Bank Holidays on top. We already had one of them on Mashramani Day and we have another on Monday (today) which is a Hindu Thanksgiving Day for the Harvest (Phagwah Day) when everyone throws water and paint at you.

More on the House Move later.

The NCERD cat has just had a kitten

The VSO Office

Drinks at the reception in Celinas